Monday, 18 July 2011

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad with Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

Well, it's official... I live 3 doors down from Hell!  And so does everybody else here in the Dallas Fort Worth area of North Texas. We are expected to hit our 17th consecutive day of triple digit weather and there is no relief in site... I'm ready to take your bets on which you think will be the highest this month... my water or, eclectic bill.
The only plant in my garden that's not begging for water so loudly I can actually hear the cries over the AC running full blast, is the mint. God love mint, it's such a trooper in the garden that I seriously think it's got roots of steal that go all the way to China.

When I posted my North Middletown Iced Tea recipe last week, I mention how the mint was taking over my corner bed in the yard (and so be it! nothing else will grow there) I have been looking for recipes that have mint as a key ingredient and ran across several watermelon recipes that called for mint, but most of them were more on the sweet side, and I like savory dishes with earthy undertones.

So, after some merging, tweaking and tasting of several recipes, I came up with this cooling and refreshing watermelon & mint salad that is savory enough to be a stand alone lunch, or served as a side dish with grilled meats or even with a hearty omelet breakfast.  Either way, it's a cooling and welcoming relief to the summer heat.

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad with Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

1 watermelon approximately 4 pounds cut into cubes (or you can use a melon baller scoop if your the aesthetically pleasing type)
1 small Vidalia (or other sweet onion) cut into thin slices and quartered
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar (I use a Modena aged 20 years, 'cause that's the way I roll)
Salt & Pepper to taste (more or less salt depending on the natural sweetness of the melon)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons of fresh chopped mint leaves divided
4 oz feta cheese crumbled
whole mint leaves for garnish

In a large bowl, toss the melon, onion slices, feta, and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint, set aside.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper, slowly whisk in the olive oil until it is a thick emulsion. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped mint.
Gently toss the vinaigrette into the melon mixture, or drizzle the dressing onto individual servings.
Garnish with sprigs of mint leaves.

These ingredients may seem like an odd combination to you, but give it try and you will be pleasantly surprised at how cooling, yet satisfying this recipe really is.

Bon appetite!

I will be linking up to these fun parties...

Lady Behind the Curtain for Cast Party Wednesday

DIY by Design for Sizzle into Summer

Stone Gable for On the Menu Monday

La Bella Vita for Fresh Food Friday

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday

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